According to a survey of 100 HR directors across the UK by The London School of English, despite two-thirds of respondents claiming that it is "very important" for business people to have a good cultural understanding of their trading partners, only 23 per cent offer training in this area.
Furthermore, 98 per cent claim that their non-native English speakers are able to communicate effectively in English and 78 per cent think it is unnecessary to train native English speakers in sales jobs and other roles to moderate their vocabulary when negotiating with those who have a different first language.
"A failure to communicate effectively with overseas business partners is a classic British mistake and it's disappointing to see that this is still not being addressed," said Timothy Blake, chief executive of the London School of English.
Dr Jim Anderson, senior lecturer in language and education at Goldsmiths, University of London, agreed that better language skills could help boost the UK economy, particularly as use of Chinese and Arabic in business is increasing.
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Posted by John Oak and Nikki Barrister
Source: The Sales Executive News